The ALS Association
Carrie Munk
The ALS Association
(571) 319-3047



The ALS Association Invests More Than $1.9 Million to Discover Treatments for ALS

Washington, D.C. (March 15, 2016)— Today, The ALS Association is pleased to announce five new Translational Research Advancing Therapy for ALS (TREAT ALS™) grant recipients to fund milestone driven amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. The TREAT ALS™ portfolio is a diverse collection of ALS research to find treatments and a cure for ALS. These awards include a TREAT ALS™ Drug Development Contract grant and ALS Association-Initiated grants totaling $1,950,340.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.

TREAT™ ALS Drug Development Grants

Drug development contracts are milestone-driven awards designed to rapidly bring the most promising potential therapies closer to clinical trials. Many of the contracts are in partnership with industry. Academic-industry partnerships are invaluable to drive treatment approaches for ALS more rapidly to the clinic.

David Rodman, M.D., miRagen Therapeutics, Boulder, CO
Howard Weiner, M.D., Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
Topic: antimiR-155 therapy for ALS
Award: $424,725 over 12 months

The ALS Association-Initiated Awards

ALS Association-Initiated awards support collaborative projects that address research gaps, areas of high risk-high reward and/or areas that provide novel opportunities. Investigators submit proposals for peer review in topics that The ALS Association and its advisors determine as priority areas of research.

Raymond Roos, M.D., University of Chicago, Chicago
Topic: Targeting the unfolded protein response in mutant SOD1-induced ALS
Award: $120,000 over 12 months

J. Paul Taylor, M.D., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Jinghui Zhang, Ph.D., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN
Michael Benatar, M.D., Ph.D., University of Miami, Miami
Topic: Whole genome sequencing of patients and families with deeply phenotyped ALS and related disorders
Award: $835,937 over 60 months

John Landers, Ph.D., UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA
Cathleen Lutz, Ph.D., M.B.A., The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
Topic: Development and characterization of novel mouse models of ALS
Award: $469,678 over 12 months

Eliahu Heldman, Ph.D., Lauren Sciences LLC, New York
Topic: Treatment of ALS by targeted delivery of GDNF to motor neurons using novel V-Smart™ nanovesicles
Award: $100,000 over 12 months

Full descriptions of the research projects are located here.

For The ALS Association’s current Call for Abstracts click here.

About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.  For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at

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